Trump ICE pick: Politicians who run sanctuary cities should be charged with crimes

President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump knocks BuzzFeed over Cohen report, points to Russia dossier DNC says it was targeted by Russian hackers after fall midterms BuzzFeed stands by Cohen report: Mueller should 'make clear what he's disputing' MORE's pick to run Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on Tuesday called for a crackdown on so-called sanctuary cities, saying politicians who help run them should be charged with crimes.

In an interview with Fox News's Neil Cavuto, ICE acting Director Thomas Homan said the Department of Justice needs "to file charges against the sanctuary cities" and "hold back their funding."

Homan, who was announced in December as President Trump's pick to permanently run the agency, went on to say that politicians enforcing sanctuary city policies need to be held "personally accountable."

"We gotta take [sanctuary cities] to court, and we gotta start charging some of these politicians with crimes," he said.

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His comments came during a discussion about California Gov. Jerry Brown (D), a staunch defender of protections for undocumented immigrants who in October signed a bill declaring California a sanctuary state.

Sanctuary cities, which limit their cooperation with federal immigration enforcement, have increasingly come under fire since Trump took office in January.

Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsOvernight Health Care: Thousands more migrant children may have been separated | Senate rejects bill to permanently ban federal funds for abortion | Women's March to lobby for 'Medicare for All' Acting AG Whitaker's wife defends him in lengthy email to journalist Watchdog: Thousands more migrant children separated from parents than previously known MORE has repeatedly called for tougher measures for sanctuary cities, including the withholding of federal grants for them.

Trump made the issue central to his campaign in 2016, arguing that sanctuary city policies prevent law enforcement from keeping Americans safe.